The plight of workers serving midday meal in schools was raised in Rajya Sabha today with a member demanding enhanced wages to them as they were currently paid a paltry sum as monthly honorarium.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Tapan Kumar Sen (CPM) said about 10,000 midday workers were holding demonstrations in support of their demands.
"Twenty-four lakh such workers were engaged in providing nutritious meals to 12 crore children. Their role in primary and secondary education is important but they are doing the work for a pittance. They get Rs 1,000 for a month and get to work 10 months out of 12 in a year," Sen said.
He said despite working for 30-35 years, there was no social security for them.
He said they belonged to the poorest of the poor section and the government should increase their renumeration by at least Rs 1,000.
A large number of members associated with the demand.
In another Zero Hour submission, Srinjoy Bose (Trinamool) raised the plight of workers of closed tea gardens in West Bengal and Assam and demanded that the government should immediately hand over such gardens to other organisation for reopening under the Tea Act of 1953.
Saying 3,500 workers were rendered jobless in Jalpaiguri alone, he sought an assurance from the government for rehabilitation package for them besides subsidy etc.